Thursday, January 1, 2009

Naming the Animals

When I sit to do a craft that involves instructions I generally follow the directions, especially if it is a simple project or something I haven’t tried before. Sometimes this bothers me and makes me feel less creative than I like, but I just try to enjoy the task and forget about my silly perceived self-notions.

Some months back I was at the craft store looking for a craft project that I could do with my son. In the end I purchased a kit for making animal faces out of foam. It seemed pretty safe.

As it turned out, a three-year-old boy who has trouble sitting still and following directions can get overexcited while doing crafty things, but we still had a lot of fun and managed to make one of each of the four animals. In retrospect, crafts that involve googly-eyes may not be the best choice. I followed him around for a couple of days picking stray eyeballs up off of the floor and making sure he didn’t try to eat them or feed them to his little sister.

The other day daddy was hunting for something new and fun to do with the little man and saw the box of foam facial features sitting on the shelf collecting dust. So he got it down. Ignoring my suggestion that he use nice, safe glue dots, he instead opted for the gorilla glue that he keeps in his workbag. This made me more than a little nervous.

The two of them settled into the dining room table with their little bag o’ tricks (and the scary glue) and got down to business. My son first suggested making an elephant for his nana. His next request was a companion lion for his granddad. The elephant ended up with a bit of a leaky-eye problem and the lion has no ears, but they’re both ordinary enough looking animals.

Then daddy hit his groove and his crazy creative streak kicked in. When his little protégé requested that they make a monkey for his Auntie Shmish, daddy said, “How about a tiger monkey?” Daddy’s carbon copy caught onto that idea pretty quickly, and before they were done they had made a liger for Auntie B and an elephonkey for Aunt EM.

It’s special times like these that I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have a husband who possesses such a uniquely creative mind. It’s fun to watch my children learn to think outside of the box when it comes to creating. If it were my sole responsibility to nurture their imagination, they would always be putting the correct color with the correct number and all their foam animals would be of recognizable species. I’m also thankful that the nasty industrial glue did no permanent damage.


Mama Janna said...

I am especially fond of the elaphonkey (I think I spelled that right) and the tiger monkey, very cool!

Bethany Streng said...

A LIGER?! its pretty much my favorite animal....

Mama Janna said...

did you know ligers can't breed, just like mules